Jeremy Renner ate in this private dining place | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

LAMB tagine with couscous

When the owners of popular bakeshop chain Sugarhouse sold their business, they accepted consulting jobs here and there before deciding to set up something more permanent.


Ginny Roces de Guzman and business partner Chiqui Lara opened Gustare in Bonifacio Global City a couple of years ago. They are now enjoying the slower pace of running a restaurant.


In the past, De Guzman spent hours to ensure that operations ran smoothly at the bakeshops; now she has more time to think of concepts and recipes.


Favorite noodle dish


“It’s like an incubation space for new ideas,” she described Gustare.


One of her ideas that has become a favorite of clients is a noodle dish, squid ink sotanghon topped with crushed chicharon (pork cracklings). The savory dish is often ordered by clients

FRIENDS and business partners Ginny Roces de Guzman and Chiqui Lara

from nearby areas as part of a meal during lunch or dinner meetings.


Lara, a childhood friend of De Guzman, said that the initial plan was to be a commissary for other restaurants. They did this for Tully’s Coffee, the coffee shop chain.


“What really happened, however, was that we became known for boardroom catering. People would call and ask if we could provide catering for their meetings. We would fax to them our menu, they would make their choices and indicate the number of people, then we would send the food,” Lara recalled.


Gustare also sells single and party-size portions of lasagna, pot roast, arroz con pollo, Batangas adobo, Bicol Express, Peruvian chicken rice.


De Guzman, thankfully, still bakes cakes and pastries including Almond Sans Rival, Mango Pavlova, Oreo Cheesecake and Turtle Pie. Her dessert samplers (single portions) consist of Canonigo, Crack Pie, Crack Pie Bites and the Impossible Cake.


Intimate dinners

FRIENDS partake of the Mediterranean dinner at Gustare.


Recently Gustare has been serving private dinners. When Hollywood A-lister Jeremy Renner was shooting “The Bourne Legacy” in the country in 2012, he was treated to an exclusive special dinner at Gustare.


During these functions, the L-shaped space is taken over by a long table and guests can partake of a dinner prepared by De Guzman and her kitchen staff.


At present, there’s one Mediterranean and two Filipino multi-course menus to choose from.


The Mediterranean menu we sampled consisted of fork tender Lamb Tagine with couscous; a refreshing Tabbouleh made with bulgur, tomatoes and cucumbers; and a fish stew flavored with leeks and lemons.


TABBOULEH salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes and bulgur, a type of cereal

To complete the Mediterranean theme, De Guzman presented a delicious new cake she had just created topped with “exotic” ingredients like dates, walnuts, pistachios and candied orange peel. Its name: Casablanca.


Gustare is at Unit D, G/F, W Tower, 39th St., Bonifacio Global City; tel. 4030345.



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